NYCS Swag Spotlight Hayden Haddock

Hayden Haddock

Hayden Haddock, our Swag Spotlight this week doesn’t have the traditional story that most current country artists boast about, growing up singing in a church or knowing from a young age that this is what he wanted to do with his life. In fact, it wasn’t until the last 5 years or so that Haddock even had an inkling that this was something he could do for a living.  He recalls watching Eric Church open for Kenny Chesney when he was fourteen years old, and between the Cheif’s incredible stage presence, his fancy guitars and fireworks display it sparked something in the Texas native. “He was just a really good entertainer, something about watching him, I went home and told my parents I wanted to take guitar lessons,” he explains.  Growing up, he was shy and although learning to play guitar came rather easy for him, Haddock had never planned on even playing in front of anyone, let alone up on stage for fans.

Currently, he is a full-time student at Texas A&M in College Station and is studying Construction Science, however, bored one day in his dorm room he started picking on his guitar and singing and as soon as his roommate and a girl who lived next door heard him play, they loved it and after a lot of convincing, he overcame his shyness and started to play gigs and write music just a month later. “I’m really glad that it all turned out the way that it did, if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be doing all of this,” Haddock says.  That fateful day in his dorm room was just a year and a half ago and already the singer-songwriter had connected with people in the music industry in Nashville and recorded and released his debut EP, First Rodeo. He worked with Trent Willmon, who produced Cody Johnson’s last four albums and he tells us how big of an inspiration Johnson is to him professionally and personally.

“Nashville is so concentrated with people trying to make a name for themselves, so it’s hard to do it since there are so many people there,” Haddock says. “You can be the best singer in the world but it’s going to take longer to get it done, so for me, Texas is a great place to start.” Willmon gave Haddock insight on Johnson’s career path, building his fan base and honing his craft in Texas in order to have something to negotiate with when and if you want to pursue a record label in Nashville.

His debut album features songs that were written by not only Haddock but people who live in his town and found out that he was looking for music to cut for his first project. Quite the whirlwind, only 6 months had passed between sitting in his dorm room picking on a guitar to getting into the studio and writing and recording the first seven songs that the world would hear.

Finishing up his degree at Texas A&M, Haddock is taking classes during the week then Thursday night jumps in his van and plays gigs all weekend. He is already working on writing and recording his next project which he says he hopes will be out before the end of the year. Listen to First Rodeo below.

To keep up with Hayden Haddock follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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NYCS Swag Spotlight: Raleigh Keegan

Raleigh Keegan

Named one of Nashville Lifestyle’s “Most Beautiful People” our Swag Spotlight this week is Raleigh Keegan. His very first musical memory is of his adopted father singing James Taylor, “Fire and Rain” and “Carolina In My Mind” to help him get to sleep as a child.  The newcomer is from a town north of Cincinnati and although he used to play trombone in high school, he didn’t pick up a guitar and start songwriting until he was finishing up college. “I was this jock who played trombone,” Keegan told us. “I always said ‘I have a football player body trapped in a musicians mind,’ I was first chair, all state jazz trombone, but when I was 18 years old, all you care about is how do I get the girls, I played football in college but I couldn’t wait to go home after practice to write and play my guitar.”

He recalled falling in love with John Mayer’s album Continuum and being inspired when he saw him perform in 2007 but ultimately caught the country music genre bug after seeing Zac Brown Band. “I quit my job the week after I saw them, there was something about the feeling he was giving, I wanted to move people the way I am being moved by his music.” After making the decision to go all in, Keegan and his wife sold their house and moved to Nashville so he could pursue his career. He taught himself about the industry, how to book gigs, how to make money as a musician and after about a year of learning all he could, he knew he had to hire a team to help promote his music. “I was quickly feeling like I need to get better as an artist so I need a team. You can only operate to a certain level, to cross that threshold you need other people, so a little over a year ago I brought on a team so I could spend more time focusing on my music, which is the whole point and reason I moved.”

His current single “Don’t Take Time” was written about the very first time Keegan saw his wife, Shelby. “I was dating a girl for four years and I was in a conversation with her at the time, then I saw Shelby across the room and I just felt something, I wasn’t sure what it was but there was something about her. I broke up with that girl and ten months later Shelby and I were engaged,” he romantically explains. He continues that the girl he was dating ended up marrying his roommate and they were married before they were. He had the line “some good things don’t take time” and knew he wanted to write about their love story.

He plans on releasing six more songs on an EP later this year and continuing to promote “Don’t Take Time”. To keep up with Raleigh Keegan follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

 

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NYCS Swag Spotlight: Hannah Bethel

Hannah Bethel

Continuing to celebrate her newly released song “Rhinestone Rodeo” our Swag Spotlight this week is Hannah Bethel. Born in Wisconsin, the talented singer-songwriter starting playing guitar when she was only 13 years old. Her influences growing up included Tom Petty, James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac, and The Eagles as well as all of the great female country artists of the 1990s like Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, and Shania Twain. She explains in our most recent interview that she never played sports or really had any other focuses besides being on stage. “I didn’t really have anyone else in my life who was musical but I loved singing, using my voice and basically I loved entertaining people,” she tells us. “I was always putting on a show at family get-togethers and being a ham and I just loved the reaction I would get when people heard my voice.”

She recalls the whole process of learning to play the guitar and even writing songs came very natural to her and she started playing gigs wherever she could. Finding inspiration early on, she just knew she needed to do what it takes to get herself to Nashville “I had this clipping from American Songwriter magazine that said: “Inside every good girl is a bad girl packing her bags and heading to Nashville” she laughs.  “It was hilarious but when I was 13, I cut it out, I laminated it with scotch tape and I put it in my school locker and I just always knew I would end up there.”

Hannah Bethel – “Train” – Official Music Video from Dawson Waters on Vimeo.

After high school she did just that, making the move to Nashville and attending Belmont University for two years, studying music. As her life as a musician got busier, she decided to focus all of her energy on writing, recording, and touring but is so grateful for the community she built while at Belmont. Ever since leaving college, Bethel has spent her time honing in on her craft, co-writing and releasing music.  Last October she wrote a song called “Train” with her younger sister and it was her first release in quite some time. “I had just come out of a 2 year period that was really tough for me, I had left a 4-year relationship, I had been in Nashville for what seemed like forever, I wasn’t sure if I should still be doing music, it was just hard. In that, that season of darkness I really, really was able to connect to my center and find my voice as a writer,” she explains. She spent the next six months looking for a videographer who would work with her specific vision for the video for the song that she says felt like “magic” from the very start. “Everything just flowed so naturally for “Train” and it was almost like when I finally decided to surrender to being my truest self, everything just started moving,” Bethel says. “It was really magical and just special for this song that came out of a dark difficult place, to turn into so much joy and forward movement for something I’ve been working on my entire life.”

Just last Friday (May 31) Bethel released her next single “Rhinestone Rodeo”.  Our writer Erica when reviewing the song wrote: “The song is innovative, carefree, and alluring, as Bethel blurs genre lines effortlessly on the track. Her voice is impactful, yet soft, reminiscent of country megastar Kacey Musgraves’ undeniable talent. Proving that she is a force to be reckoned with in the industry, the songstress pushed to write and record this song, as it embodied a message and a story that she wanted to share with the world.”

Bethel tells us that she had the idea for years, pitching it in writing rooms around town but nobody seemed interested in talking badly about Nashville. Eventually, she wrote the song with Nicole Witt of Farewell Angelina and Tiffany Goss. “I just wanted to share an authentic story about what it’s like to live this life, I think it might be cathartic for us.” The song tells the story of frustration and ultimately it doesn’t matter if the listener is or isn’t a musician, its a struggle and being transparent about those difficult times that the lyrics relate to. “That is the one common thing that we share, we are all improvising as we go, we are all chasing our joys, and trying to stay in our peace,” she shares. “Being transparent is so empowering, it brings peace of mind to me that we are all just trying to figure it out.”

Looking ahead to the rest of this year, Bethel is excited to continue to promote the new single out on the road, adding dates across the country and to releasing even more new music. For all of her tour dates head to https://www.hannahbethel.com/.

We caught her stellar show in NYC last month, check out the full recap here. To keep up with Hannah Bethel follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

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NYCS Swag Spotlight: John King

John King

In a little mountain town in Northeast Georgia, there isn’t much to do so when our next Swag Spotlight discovered his love for music, it instantly became the most important thing to him. His father was a huge music lover, he recalls spending Saturday afternoons with vinyl records, listening to everything from AC/DC and Led Zeppelin to Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Don Williams. “There were a lot of cool influences coming into my life from an early age, I grew up loving songwriters and country music and the music and melodies from pop and rock so I do think that fed into what I do now and what my sound is,” he tells us.

He tells us about the exact moment where he started singing, all thanks to his mom who said she was “tired of listening to banging drums and instrumentals, that someone had to sing”. After those garage bands turned into touring bands around Georgia, and after finishing his degree at The University of Georgia, he went straight to Nashville, a place he’s called home for six years.

King has found success in Nashville not only as an artist but also as a songwriter, writing Randy Houser’s number one song “We Went” with Matt Rogers and Justin Wilson. “To me, being a songwriter is just as big of a part of it, I love entertaining, I love performing but I really can’t see myself doing any of that without the songwriting aspect, it’s therapeutic for me” he explains.

His latest release, one he says is his favorite song he’s ever put out, “Try Saying Goodbye” has hit a chord with fans and King is proud of that. The concept is something he relates to on a daily basis, thinking about his wife and their relationship. “we’ve been dating for 15 and married for 5 years now, so almost half of our lives,” he tells us. “When you are with somebody that long, you go through changes, you get into an argument or debate and when you step back, the fight isn’t usually aren’t as big of a deal as you make it out in the heat of the moment and the hardest thing to do is say sorry and move on and nothing to me is worth losing the person I love in my life.” The track has garnered over 3 million streams on Spotify and is connecting with fans in a special way.

 

 

Recently, King partnered with Straight Talk Wireless to interact with his followers and fans in a more intimate way, giving them a dedicated line where they can reach out and chat with the singer-songwriter. “I couldn’t think of a better way to be one on one with fans, there are have been so many amazing stories and it makes me emotional. That is the dream as a songwriter and an artist, to see it impacting people that way, it doesn’t get any better than that.” For more information on Straight Talk Wireless, head to StraightTalk.com and to get in contact with King, you can text 706-949-3181 to let him know your story about “Try Saying Goodbye”. “Country music is such a fan-centric genre, our fans are just amazing, if they invest as you as an artist, they are there for a lifetime,” he says.

This summer King is hitting the road, touring the country and is excited to not only be playing at CMAFest but also the Grand Ole Opry on June 28th. To keep up with John King be sure to follow him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and for all of his tour dates head to https://www.johnkingcountry.com/

 

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NYCS Swag Spotlight: Kären McCormick

Kären McCormick

Our Swag Spotlight this week is Kären McCormick, singer and songwriter born in Congo and grew up in Spokane, Washington. Her father who was in the Peace Corps was helping people learn how to filter their water where he met her mother and they fell in love. Growing up her parents listened to all types of music including Afro-pop but she specifically recalls hearing Taylor Swift sing “Tim McGraw” on the radio when she was 11 or 12 years old. Her mother listened to Faith Hill and she loved Brooks & Dunn but Swift’s songwriting really caught McCormick’s attention. “At the time I was really big on writing stories and then really big on music so I started begging my dad for a guitar,” she explains. When she was 13 years old, she finally was gifted her first guitar and she says she hasn’t put it down since. “I learned that Taylor [Swift] went to Nashville, so I begged my dad to take me there,” she recalls. “He made me a deal, before we would travel to Nashville I had to perform at least three times in public.”

It wasn’t easy to find places for a young girl to perform but finally, when she was 16 years old she saw a flier for ‘Spokane, Got Talent?’ competition. She auditioned, was picked out of fifteen other contestants by the judges, by singing The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young”. She was the top three, and after singing “Stay Beautiful”, by Taylor Swift the audience picked her to win. The following year, they did visit Nashville, she played an open mic night at The Bluebird Cafe and after that trip, she spent the next few years just waiting and wanting to get back to Music City. After getting her degree in Communications from Eastern Washington University, McCormick found herself back in Nashville interning and learning all about the music industry.

On a whim, while back home in Washington, she tweeted a video of her singing Walker Hayes’ song “Halloween” for a chance to win a meet and greet that night while he was on tour with Kelsea Ballerini. Hayes not only loved the video but messaged her and asked her to join him on stage that night. “When I got to the venue I was so nervous, I wanted to perform well, make the most of the invitation. He is just the nicest, had the best energy and is so great at making everyone feel comfortable,” she says of the singer-songwriter. “I am so grateful for the experience. For me, it is not just the opportunity to sing with someone like Walker [Hayes] but for someone to extend their stage to me, who isn’t signed, who they found on Twitter, it’s a stage he’s been working towards for so long, he just embodies kindness.”

Since being in Nashville, McCormick has released three songs that she has written, most recently “Dancing With Him Tonight”.  She explains that she wrote the song before moving to Nashville, calling it a pre-Nashville song. “All writers have their pre-Nashville songs, and post-Nashville songs and its interesting to compare the two, to see how I changed as a writer after moving here.” The track will be the first on her debut EP which is slated for release later this summer.

McCormick explains how she wrote the song after going to a rodeo with her friends and seeing someone that she would have loved to dance with, even though she says she is a terrible dancer. “It’s more about taking a chance, getting out of your comfort zone, certain people make you want to do something like that, a person can bring that out of you,” she says of the song.

The EP will feature five songs all co-written or written by McCormick. She explains how she is still getting used to co-writing, learning how to compromise and give and take in a writers room since she is so used to writing songs alone back in Washington. She tells us how she loves that country artists are branching out and collaborating with other artists in other genres and growing up in Cameroon, Africa and listening to Afro-pop she would love to merge both genres in the future.

To keep up with Kären McCormick be sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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NYCS Swag Spotlight: Seaforth

Seaforth

Photo Credit Matthew Berinato

Our Swag Spotlight this week shines on one of our 2019 Artists to Watch, Seaforth.  Tom Jordan and Mitch Thompson were born in a town in Sydney called Seaforth in Australia. They went to the same preschool, played on the soccer team there and have been friends their entire lives. “We have been making music together for what seems like forever, we are super excited and happy to be musical pals and best mates,” they tell us.

Thompson explains that growing up, their influences were all types of music including ACDC and Led Zeppelin but that his mom was a huge Keith Urban fan. “Discovering Keith was an absolute lightbulb moment for both of us,” he tells us. They were making music independently at first but once they wrote their first song together, they quickly realized that one of them could do what the other couldn’t, creating the perfect equation for a duo.

Jordan tells us how they were organically writing country music and knew that one day the end goal was to make it to Nashville, Tennesee and immerse themselves in the music industry and culture. They made the trek over the ocean to Music City five years ago, falling in love with the town immediately. “We would play wedding gigs in Sydney, save up money, fly to Nashville, spend everything, come back broke, start doing gigs again until we managed to get our record deal with Sony.” They racked up the frequent flyer miles traveling back and forth and they joked that they just really loved that long flight. “We played our last wedding gig the week before we moved and I think we cried more than the bride and the groom,” Jordan laughed.

The duo co-wrote all four songs on their debut EP, including “Love That”, the debut single that will head to radio later this month. Written by the duo with Daniel Ross and Michael Whitworth, they tell us how it is all four of their first singles heading to the country radio airwaves. “Love That” is one of the songs they wrote on one of their very first trips to Nashville so they are so proud to see it on their EP and to have it be the song that is their introduction to the market.

Being songwriters in Nashville, Seaforth is so happy to be able to learn from some of the best writers in the country. “I feel like to improve at anything it’s best to surround yourself with people that are better than you and Nashville is the home of people that are better than you,” Thompson says.  “Everyone here is so talented, it is such a huge influence and inspiration to us to write better songs.”

We asked the duo for a fun fact that our followers would love to know about them, Jordan tells us that he is ‘globophobic’ which means he is afraid of balloons. “When I was young I was blowing one up and it popped and it was really loud a since then I have been terrified of them,” he tells us. Thompson laughs and tells us that his fun fact is he can actually floss a spaghetti noodle through his nose and out his mouth.

Seaforth has a jam-packed summer with festivals and gigs promoting their new music and their single “Love That”. They will be playing CMAfest in just a few short weeks and then they will be playing at Lake Shake in Chicago in July, on the exact same day as Keith Urban, one of the main reasons they are in this industry. The excitement for that festival is apparent in their voices as they tell us all about it. It was also just announced today that Seaforth is nominated for Discovery Artist of the Year at the 2019 MusicRow Awards. To catch Seaforth on the road this summer head to https://www.weareseaforth.com/.

To keep up with Seaforth follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“Love That” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our New Country music playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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NYCS Swag Spotlight Nate Botsford

Nate Botsford

Portland, Oregon singer-songwriter Nate Botsford is our Swag Spotlight this week celebrating the release of his brand new song “Tiny Little Voices”. Growing up he recalls that his grandparents were incredible musicians, played piano and sang. He started piano lessons when he was five years old and always had a sense of writing songs. He started picking on a guitar when he was thirteen, starting to write actual music and songs when he was in his senior year of high school.

He grew up in church, his parents raising him on gospel music but as he got older he was attracted to old school country like Johnny Cash, and George Strait. “I was always attracted to the songwriting, so I loved the artists that were becoming popular that were also songwriters like Thomas Rhett, Brett Young, Old Dominion,” Botsford explained. “I got into those artists that were doing what I am trying to do, writing their own stuff as opposed to just singing other people’s songs.”

He started performing outside of the church when he was a senior year in high school, playing parties. “I got such a high from performing and singing and it was hard to explain so I kind of knew that was what I wanted to do,” he tells us. His family didn’t exactly encourage him to pursue music full time so after high school, he became a swim instructor and a lifeguard but after seven years, he decided he wanted to be a musician, playing wherever he could.

He tells us that he is still developing his country sound, that for a while he was writing songs that fit more into the bluegrass or singer-songwriter lane. “I always wanted to write country but I hit a wall for a few years,” Botsford tells us. “I won a songwriting competition a few years ago, I was mentored and my mentor told me that I had to go country, so I went home from there and started writing as much as I could and tried to aim towards country.”

Although he travels to Nashville every few months to write and to network, Botsford is currently still based in Portland. He explains that he loves his hometown, he has an amazing group of guys as his band and he hopes to accomplish his career and create music without moving to Nashville.

His latest single “Tiny Little Voices” was a song he started four years ago and planned on it just being a song for him, he never expected anyone to hear it. “I hit this place where I realized, I allowed so many of the influences and the people in my life tell me that I shouldn’t do music, I couldn’t do music, I let that create this wall in front of me and kind of realized that the one thing keeping me from pursuing it was me and I needed to stop listening to those voices in my head so I sat down and was frustrated and wrote this song,” he explains. It’s an important message for hope during dark times. Botsford says now that the song is released, it’s like he is baring a bit of his soul and hoping that people like it.

He is looking ahead to the rest of this year, touring all over the place and opening for Chris Janson and LOCASH. He is also going to record a few more songs and hopefully release an album by the end of summer.

To keep up with Nate Botsford follow him on Instagram and Facebook.

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NYCS Swag Spotlight Terra Bella

Terra Bella

Joe and Martina Costa have been playing music together since the days of MySpace, where Martina first found Joe, hoping for some free guitar lessons.  They both grew up in the central valley of California and tell us in our recent interview how music had always been important to them growing up. Martina explains that she never dreamed she would grow up to be a singer living in Nashville, she was always interested in and studied agriculture. She started singing karaoke and had such fun that she caught the performing bug and that is when she found Joe on MySpace.

Joe’s dad grew up playing guitar and singing, introducing him to music from an early age. Initially, he played the drums for all different bands in high school including a rock band and a blues band. It was only when he started writing music did he decide he didn’t want the other performers in the band to sing his songs, he wanted to sing them.

While Joe credits the ’60s and ’70s rock bands like The Eagles, Don McLean, and Creedence Clearwater Revival as his influences growing up, Martina’s very first memory was hearing Waylon Jenning’s voice on vinyl and then recalls listening to Janis Joplin, Patsy Cline, and The Judds. As Joe got older he got more into the ’90s country stars like Garth Brooks, George Strait and even into rock bands like Green Day and Blink 182. They both explain how they feel all of their influences are heard in their music today.

Martina tells us the story of how they met and eventually became not only a duo but a couple as well. “It was ten years ago, we were still living in California and we met on myspace,” she explains. “I was trying to hit him up for free guitar lessons, next thing you know we were hanging out and started performing together and kind of fell in love while singing together. The music came first and the chemistry was already there, everyone else saw it way before we did.”  Whether it was playing around campfires, family functions or BBQs they would always end up singing together and people thought they were together for years when in reality it had only been a few months.

Shortly after getting married, the duo Terra Bella made the big move to Nashville. We discussed what was missing in the California music scene; “We were basically a west coast band and we just felt like we had done everything we could living there, we were a very busy touring band but we didn’t have a great record, we were writing decent songs but felt like there was something else out there that I could learn from,” Joe explains. After Terra Bella opened for Lee Brice, they had a chance encounter with his production manager who convinced them to go visit Nashville. “After the first day of hanging out in Nashville, we were like ‘we have to move here, there is just something in the air that feels right,’ Martina tells us.  “It’s a long drive, we are a long way from family but there was just something about it, it has taken the career places we never thought it could go.”

They are proud of their California roots and proud that artists like Jon Pardi, Brett Young, Devin Dawson, and Cam are also representing their state in country music. Looking ahead to their next EP, they explain that the one word they would use is to describe the new songs is authentic. “We both come from farming and ranching families, my family is out in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by cattle ranches. We strive really hard to represent California in the best way possible and where our roots are firmly planted,” they tell us.

Terra Bella do write songs together, one of the tracks on the EP they co-wrote with two other friends, Joe, however, is a writer on each track. “The rest of the songs I co-wrote with various friends, we feature a lot of female co-writers on this EP which makes me so proud. I love that combination, both perspectives, since we have female and male singers, it rounds it out really cool,” Joe tells us. “There are so many talented female writers and singers in Nashville and we want to do everything that we can to promote them and give us the best music we can have.”

Looking ahead to this summer Terra Bella is so excited to finally be playing a show in New York City at Rockwood Music Hall. They say “We have driven through, we have been to a Yankees game, we’ve stood in Times Square but we have never played and we are over the moon about it because you guys love country music. Just talking about it I’m getting the nervous butterflies.”

To RSVP for their Rockwood Music Hall show on July 15th, 2019 click here.  To keep up with Terra Bella follow them on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

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NYCS Swag Spotlight J.Antonette

J. Antonette

Our Swag Spotlight this week is a New York native, singer-songwriter J. Antonette. Growing up in Utica, NY she has heard her fair share of “New York isn’t country” but she begs to differ, being just twenty minutes from cows in any direction. When she was younger she listened to the Dixie Chicks, Alison Krauss, and Reba McEntire, even naming her first dog Reba. Her parents listened to all different genres of music but she recalls her mother being a die-hard Michael Bolton fan and taking her to his concert when she was only five years old. She remembers being close to the stage and Bolton coming down into the audience, holding her hand and singing to her, a moment that came full circle later in her life when she had the opportunity to sing background vocals for the Grammy winner.

Another artist’s career that she followed from a young age was Melissa Etheridge. “I remember I would sing “Come To My Window” and “I’m The Only One” into my hairbrush staring into my mirror,” Antonette explains. Another full circle moment, and a highlight of her life, she ended up falling into a gig singing background vocals for her as well. “I fell into the background singing thing, I never thought I would be a singer, I wanted to be a writer and only a writer,” she tells us. “I was really afraid to be the front person, I still get anxiety because it’s a lot of pressure.”

After traveling back and forth from New York to Nashville and L.A, she made the commitment to split her time between both places. “I think that the New York country community has gotten stronger but I wanted to surround myself with different writers, that was just recently back in January that I made the move”. Since making the move, she has focused on songwriting and deciding on exactly what she wants to say with her music. She is also constantly on the road whether she is opening for artists, singing background vocals or performing at her own gigs. “I really feel like no one can put a limitation on your own destiny if you work really hard and are talented. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss being around my family and friends in New York,” Antonette tells us.

She started songwriting when she was a little girl, using it as a therapy to get through childhood struggles with her family. “I struggle to be vulnerable, in those moments of writing, I felt like I won’t be judged for my thoughts or feelings.” She tells us that her latest single “Something I Said”, was written when she was driving to the beach out in Montauk, New York after dealing with a nasty breakup. “This guy was just awful and at the end, I laid it out, I was brutally honest and of course when I was honest he got offended,” she explains. Take a listen to “Something I Said” above.

She is looking ahead to writing and releasing a full-length EP before the fall and continuing to make connections and friends in Nashville.

To keep up with J.Antontte, follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

“Something I Said” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
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NYCS Swag Spotlight: Kree Harrison

Kree Harrison

Kree Harrison may have been born in Woodville, Texas but the singer-songwriter who tells us in our recent interview that she was singing before she could even speak, made the move to Nashville much earlier than many of our Swag Spotlights.  Harrison rose to popularity after her incredible performances on American Idol back in 2013.  The songstress finished in the runner-up spot on the singing competition show but what you may not know is that she started her career in music when she was only ten years old. “I always loved music and entertaining and I think the first time I sang in public I was three years old,” she tells us. Feeling natural on stage in front of an audience, she explains she was bitten by the bug very early on.

Thankful for her parents support, they uprooted their lives and moved to Nashville when Harrison was only nine years old. “It’s crazy, more commonly, most people know me from American Idol but the truth is I’ve been here for 20 years,” she says. Laughing she tells us how she and her little brother couldn’t believe that you could call a pizza place and they would deliver the pizza right to your house, considering back in her small home town of Texas, that wasn’t even a thing.

She loved all types of music growing up but recalls Otis Redding being played around her house and the way the soulful music made her feel.  Besides R&B she listened to old school country music like Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, and Merle Haggard and as she got older, she was influenced by ’90s country like The Judds, Trisha Yearwood and Lee Ann Womack just like many of the modern-day country artists.

As an artist, Harrison loves to mash the two genres, creating her own lane and a signature sound. “I really do try to marry my influences all together and hope that it sounds like me and not just, ‘Well she is just country or just blues,” she explains. She hates that genres try to put creative people in a box, laughing as she tells us that the night prior to our interview she was with friends and she played a Merle Haggard immediately followed by covering a Cardi B song.

Her latest single “I Love The Lie” was a track Harrison heard during pre-production for her upcoming album and she just knew she had to record it. The honest track was written by Chris Stapleton, his wife Morgane Stapleton and Liz Rose (“Girl Crush”). We discussed the decision for her to cut an outside song for her album and to be the first single from her sophomore album. “It just stood out to me, like a ‘duh’ moment, I have to sing this, I believe in it,” she told us. ” It would be ignorant for me to just write my whole record without listening to outside songs, especially in my writing community here, I am so spoiled with songs that are written by singer-songwriters or just writers that write amazing stuff, I can’t imagine crossing it out just because I am not a writer on that song.”

She looks ahead to releasing her second album, excited to get the music out to her fans and get on a radio tour to promote “I Love The Lie”.

To keep up with Harrison, follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

“I Love The Lie” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook: